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Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov
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Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov (about 1552 – 1605) was the Russian tsar since 1598; came to power in the time of “oprichnina”; was the tsar Fedor Ivanovich’s wife’s brother and actually rulled the state instead of him. He strengthered the central authoritybaning on the nobility and supported peasants enslavement Boris Feodorovich Godunov (about 1549 or 1552 – April 13/23, 1605, Moscow), the Russian tsar.


According to the legend the Godunovs came from the tatar prince Chet. Who came to Russia in the time of Ivan Kalita. This legend is written down in the annals dating back to the beginning of the 17th century. According to the tsar chronicle of 1555 the Godunovs (as well as Saburovs, the Velyaminous) come from Dmitriy Zern, who was evidently, a feudal lord from Kostroma. Inspite of the validity of this point of view, there is still a chance that there is some truth in the legend about Chet too. And it is not accidental that some ancestors of separate branches of Chet’s descendants had the names of the tatar origin (Sabur, Godun).

Boris Feodorovich Godunov’s father died at the end of the Gos. The son became an “oprichnik”. He was married to the tsar’s favorit Malyuta Skuratov’s daughtes. Since the beginning of 1570s the rise of the Godunovs begins. Boris Feodorovich himself, wasn’t close to the tsar Ivan the Terrible, though he became a boyar in September, 1580. At least on the wedding of the tsar and Maria the Nude (November, 1580). He was only tsaritsa’s (“bridesmade”) “drugka”. But the increasing role of the family in significant, as the whole clan of the Godunovs were present on the wedding. They slowly but steadily went up the rank stairs, at the end of the 1570s – the beginning of the 1580s they won several cases and so security their position among the Moscow nobility. Godunov was clever and cautious, trying to keep in the backgroung for the time being. The tsar’s son Feodor was married the Godunov’s sister Irine. Godunov’s rise is the result of a historical accident and, at the same time, the manifestation of the common regularity of the self-development of Russian society. Boris would have been on of the many Godunovs in the History, if there hadn’t happened a quarrel between the tsar and his son Ivan in Alexandrovsk Sloboda November, 9, 1581. Ivan the Terrible sbruk his son with his cane and got in a temple and in ten days (November, 19) the prince died. After Ivan Ivanovich’s death Feodor became the successor to the throne.

Up to 1584 Godunov wasn’t close to the tsar, but some deeds and plans of Ivan the Terrible affected the interests of the Godunovs and Boris inpanticular radically. The tsar wanted to marry Maria Gastings, a relative of Elizabeth, queen of England and to dissolve the marriage between Feodor and childless Irine Godunov. In the tsar’s last year Godunov got a great influence at the count. Together witn B. J. Belsky he became of Ivan the Terrible’s favorites. Godunov’s role in the death of the tsar is not quite clear March, 18, 1584 Ivan the Terrible, according to D. Gorsey’s evidence, was “strangled”. It is possible, that there was a plot against the tsar. However, anthropologist M. M. Gerasimov, who was studying the tsar during the last minutes of his lofe and they announced the tsar’s death from the porch.

Feodor Ivanovich came to the throne. The new tsar was incapable of rulling the country and required a clever adviser. The struggle for the right to be the spokesman of the interests if the new monarch flared up and Boris came the winner out of it. Feodor reigned for 14 years and, at least, 13 of them Godunov was the actual ruller.

Internal and Foreign Policy of Godunov’s Government.

The activity of Godunov’s Government timed at all-round streng the ning of statehood. Due to his efforts the first Russian patriarch, metropolitan Yov, was elected. The establishment of patriachate testified to the enhanced prestige of Russia.

In internal policy of Godunov’s government the common sence and thrift prevaited. Unprecedent construction if cities and fortifications took place. The church building was also carried to facilitate the stale of “posadsky” people. The big servants (officials) held trading people and handcraftsmen in their “white slobodas”, which were released from paying the state taxes, before. But now everyone who was engaged in trade and crafts should enter “posadsky” communities and participate in the payment of dutries to the treasury. So the number of such people increased, and each payer had to pay less, as the total sum remained constant.

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